Nearly every time there is a news story about the billions of dollars flowing to poor countries as remittances, someone worries that not “enough” of that money is being saved and invested. A case in point is today’s piece in the Washington Post. Latin American workers in the US will send home $45 billion this year, but “only a small portion … has gone to economic development.”
CGD Policy Blogs
There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release:
President Chirac's proposal for a global air travel ticket tax to fund development appeared to be gaining momentum last week, with an announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York that four countries had joined the French-led initiative. One important question--how the money will be used--has been answered. Ninety percent will go to buy AIDS drugs. But plans for administering the funds are unlikely to persuade American taxpayers--or the U.S. government--to support the plan.
When New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-poverty commission recommended this week that the city pay poor people to send their kids to school and keep up-to-date on immunizations, the idea had an oddly familiar ring to it.
The New York Review of Books' Aid: Can it Work? is a wide-ranging review of Bill Easterly's recent book The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (Easterly discussed his book at a CGD event last March, transcript available.) M
*This post is co-authored by Kaysie Brown
The World Bank's Operations Evaluation Division has just released a lengthy report documenting a rise in the world's "fragile states" and drawing a direct connection between state weakness and transnational threats. As Karen DeYoung reports in today's Washington Post,
“Fragile" countries, whose deepening poverty puts them at risk from terrorism, armed conflict and epidemic disease, have jumped to 26 from 17 since the report was last issued in 2000.
Increased attention to development and stability in fragile states by both the World Bank and the U.S. Government signals the importance of and challenges associated with providing assistance in these critical yet vulnerable states. CGD recently launched the Engaging Fragile States initiative to focus on key unanswered questions for the development community working in these tough environments. A quick read of the Bank report raises a number of issues that our work is focusing on:
Dennis de Tray and I launched the latest CGD report for new leaders of international agencies on September 7th in Tunis, the current headquarters of the African Development Bank.
I am pleased to announce the release of the 2006 edition of the Commitment to Development Index. Each year the CDI rates and ranks 21 rich countries on how much their policies help or hurt poorer nations. The CDI assigns scores in seven policy areas (foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology), with the average being the overall score.